create a supportive environment for your team

As leaders, it’s important to monitor not only our team’s progress but our own. Where do you stand as a leader? Do you know your leadership style or the type of environment you are cultivating? To best lead your team, it’s important to ask yourself these questions. . In an employee market, team members expect nothing but the best when it comes to their careers, workplace, and leaders. It’s time to think deeply about how to go above and beyond to create a supportive environment for your team and see how you measure up to TIGERS Leadership Fundamentals and the ability to provide for your team.

Not Only Lead but Coach

Great leaders not only lead but coach. Yes, establish expectations and provide guidance but look at leadership as an opportunity to coach others and inspire them to  become the leaders of tomorrow. Pay attention to your team members’ interests, provide guidance, and model the soft and hard skills needed for them to be successful. Taking a genuine interest in recognizing your workforce’s unique talents and potential will make all the difference in your relationships. Not only that but it will instill confidence, help your contributors want to work hard, apply themselves when you are willing to provide your insight and help guide them. Keep the coaching perspective to guide your leadership. For instance, if your team voices they would like to learn more about a particular software or skill, empower them by hosting workshops or connecting them with online learning where they can ask questions and acquire new knowledge.

Listen More to Create A Supportive Environment for Your Team

As a leader, you probably have the tendency to do all the talking, by leading meetings, and driving initiatives forward. However, strive to listen more. We all know how disengaging and boring it is when the conversation is one-sided. Instead, embrace active listening. With a listen-first approach, you will provide your team members with the comfort to speak up, ideate, and innovate. Not only that but also encourage your team members to take the charge and lead meetings themselves. Each week a different team member can prepare an agenda, and design a team-building activity, or presentation. This will allow you to observe your team members’ skills and understand their strengths. Such activities allow your team members to grow and feel empowered to share. Listening shows you are able to pause and take everything into consideration without projecting judgment while also giving your team members a feeling of value and trust. Embracing collaborative leadership can really bring your team and organization closer together, stronger, and more productive.

Keep It Real

It’s critical that you set clear, and realistic expectations with your team. Not only that, but ensure they have the right resources as well. Wellness matters. It’s important that your team members have adequate work-life balance. It’s important to keep it real. If your team is voicing they feel under pressure, or that they may miss the mark don’t write them off. We have all experienced that situation with the boss saying “come on you know you can get this done.” Avoid this tendency and listen to your team. Believe me, employees love empathic leaders, and leading this way can gain your team’s respect. Burnout is very real, and if you push your team too much it could be too late to earn back their respect and trust. Remember that a supportive environment is one of wellness. Connect and remind your team of best practices. Have them check out what HR has available, encourage PTO, and remind them of resources. There are plenty of strategies from a variety of therapies, and even even stress-alleviating desk setups that could help foster mental wellness and work-life balance.

Stay Humble and Approachable

Remember where you came from. All leaders have to climb the career ladder, including yourself. Remind your team that you were once in their shoes and that you understand what they encounter in the role day to day. Doing so will show that you are empathetic to your team’s concerns and will make you more approachable. It’s important to demonstrate that you care and are ready to listen. Doing so will help you hold meaningful and actionable conversations with your individual contributors. To help, welcome your team to engage in dialogue with you, host office hours or weekly check-ins. This will allow your employees to be able to discuss their needs, and concerns and create more transparency.

Taking the time to evaluate how you lead not only will help your individual contributor’s growth but your growth as well. Evolving into the best leader you can be takes time, trial and error, and self-reflection. Putting in the time and dedication to create a supportive environment for your team will truly help with development and going above and beyond for an environment of wellness and prosperity. Investing in your leadership development is critical in your ability to be able to pivot with not only organizational change but with the future of work.


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Copyright TIGERS Success Series, Inc. by Dianne Crampton

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